It seems that Scottish Manufacturing is in trouble.
The recent economic troubles have added to the general decline in that sector that has seen it shrink by two thirds in the last thirty years (according to the Scotsman’s online business section).
Now the Scottish government is taking steps to address this issue and of course the opposition parties are taking the opportunity to criticise them for a) not doing enough and b) for doing whatever they are doing badly (don’t you just love politicians!)
John Park, the shadow minister for the economy and skills was quoted as saying:
"We are getting close to the critical mass in manufacturing in Scotland. We need to see an intervention from the Scottish Government. Enterprise ministers have held mind-mapping seminars, which is all very well and good, but what we need is a manufacturing strategy, and that has to be part of a meeting with key people within industry."
So government ministers are taking part in Mind Mapping Seminars eh? (and being slated for it)
Now that is interesting.
First of all let me just say that I have no politcal allegiances whatsover but I do think that the Scottish Government Ministers concerned should be congratulated for taking steps to improve their thinking abilities through the use of Mind Mapping.
Maybe 10 years ago, something like this would never happen but things are a-changing in this world and we need to shift and adapt to those changes.
So the first thing that is very important to realise is that we can’t (usually) get ourselves out of a problem with the same thinking that got us into it in the first place.
What mind mapping will do at the very list is force ministers into thinking differently and knock them out of the mode that has been prevelant during this period in Scottish manufacturing history that has seen such a decline.
So instead of taking their lined paper note pads and executive ministerial pens and formulating their ideas in lists and paragraphs, they now have to take some plain paper, shift it round 90 degrees, get some coloured pens and start organising their thoughts in a very different way indeed.
Just this shift in technique may well give them a different perspective on the problem that may well trigger a solution.
So that is the first benefit of applying Mind Mapping.
The second benefit (to the future of Scottish Manufacturing) is that now ministers have a creativity tool that will help them generate more ideas for potential solutions to their problem.
Lined paper, writing sentences, starting at the top of the page etc etc is a very limited way of tapping into our creativity and possibly may even stifle it.
Because of the way our brain organises association (one idea leads on to another, which leads on to another AND a single idea can stimulate many related ideas) allowing the capture of those ideas in a similar format (i.e.using Mind Mapping) just supercharges your creativity.
And creativity is exactly what the ministers need to tap into in order to turn around manufacturing and restore it to its former glory.
So Mr Park perhaps you should do a little more research on what Mind Mapping can offer before you get on your high horse and use it as a whipping post for your political opponents.